1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A step up from heavy metal,
This review is from: Means To An End (Audio CD)
When the band released Kill or be killed I think a lot of fans were taken back by their change of style from a decent metal to sound to heavy metal and in some parts maybe even death metal. The songs they were singing about were much more aggressive and definitely stepped away from their previous albums and were a far cry from their early material. With this album I'm sure they were well aware that this was going to be the last album, at least for some time, hence why they called it Means to an end and why the songs are about the end of an era. With this in mind I think they may have been trying to please fans of their older material (but not the early stuff) and fans of their previous album too. This was a hard thing to do need I say but I think they carried it off pretty well. Although the album does move away from such an aggressive metal sound as Kill or be killed, it is still very different from anything pre-New World Disorder. The vocals have not changed very much either, although there is not as much screaming. They definitely have maintained that throaty aggressive sound, which I am not much of a fan of. I'm sure I'm definitely with many other fans of their previous material too.
Whereas some of the reviewers have said that the album sounds a lot more like their earlier material I have to disagree. Yes, they have brought the bass back up front and they have calmed down that heavy metal sound that was on the previous album, but they have not gone back to their old style of rapping mixed with singing with a heavy punk rock sound. This is very different to that and I would say is just a development from Kill or be killed into a different sound again. It's a better sound which I'm sure a lot of fans agree with compared to Kill or be killed but their song writing style does not differ very much from Kill or be killed. Their album artwork for this album is interesting with a kid turning away from a gravestone with the Biohazard symbol on it.
My life, my way begins and ends with an air raid siren, possibly implying war and an end. The song is about one of the band's main themes/messages; living your life your way and not letting anyone stop you. This is one thing which tells us that they're trying to go back to their roots, reminding fans that they haven't forgot what they are about and what they mean to their fans too. You can tell after this song that the vocals don't sound dissimilar from Kill or be killed, and it sets you up for the next 9 songs. They didn't want to lose fans of Kill or be killed, clearly. The songs on the album talk about longevity and not disappearing and maybe they're letting the fans know that the music is always going to be there for them even if the band itself isn't. Killing to be free shows they haven't changed their writing style much since the previous album and this is a song that would've fit well on it. Filled with hate is a pretty good song with lyrics 'violence is my only lust', which once again hearkens to the previous album. This song sounds like they're saying they are going out fighting. Devotion is one of the better songs and ends with 'I'm devoted to you for life', which may be a message to the fans. Kings never die is a bit of a big-up on their part which talks about how they'll be around forever for what they did. The album centres around the end of things and the band's breakup and this song lets us know that they'll be remembered. Don't stand alone is another song about standing your ground although they are aggressively addressing the listener with insults (at least that's how it sounds). To the grave is one to look out for. In the chorus they say `I never sold myself', surely referring to Sellout, which is a great touch. Set me free leaves us with a positive message for life and it's one of the best. `It's time to die' are the final lyrics signifying the end.
One thing I will say is that the album is too clichéd and centres around 'the end' too much. This album is a must have for your Biohazard collection but I definitely wouldn't say it's `them at their best' or `this is state of the world address superb' because it isn't. It isn't an album that follows their old style, it's something different and although it's damn good it certainly is not perfect.